Most people in leadership positions would not say that
conducting performance appraisals is a welcomed task. Even so, they understand
that the appraisal process is an important function that is subjected to rater
errors, legal ramifications, biases, and miscommunication. Unfortunately, some
supervisors will give a soft performance appraisal rating out of fear of these
repercussions. They may be scared of alienating employees, fear of
confrontation, and fear of increased resignations. However, when this occurs,
both the organization and the employee suffer from a performance appraisal
wrought with rater biases. Performance appraisals can be linked to legal cases
like discrimination, pay, layoffs, or a combination of any of these.
Ultimately, a performance management system that does not follow specific
employment laws or is unethical can result in legal fees, loss of motivation
and trust, and can adversely affect an organization’s functionality.
A defensible fair promotional policy should be established
and designed by the HR department and be used consistently across the board and
in accordance with the employment laws, the company’s goals and stated
objectives, and job descriptions. One of the most important components that HR
can implement to ensure that a performance appraisal is fair and absent of
biases is to make sure that the employee is evaluated by more than one person.
No appraisal system will be safe proof against challenges and criticism. However,
if a system is formal, has employee input, has stated objectives and goals, is
reliable, valid, simple to understand and use, and provides feedback. It is imperative
that the performance system ratings are standardized, the scores are reliable
and accurate, and that the results regarding capabilities are defensible and equitable.
Furthermore, the raters should be effectively trained, the system should be based upon
performance, the evaluation is conducted annually, the system has an appeal
process, is accessible without excuse, and has a comment section. Thus, the
system that possess these characteristics is prone to be more defensible and
fair than a policy that does not. Defensible and fair promotional systems are
important because they can help to protect an organization from lawsuits,
improve customer service, defend against terminations, provide standards and
ongoing performance reviews, protect the employees, and can provide the
organization with a competitive advantage.
In conclusion, employee reward systems are for two major
purposes rewards and performance. Rewards can be anything from promotions to
bonuses. Performance is based upon providing feedback, evaluating and rating an
employee’s job performance. Consequently, the system that an organization
chooses to implement should be a legal defensible and fair promotional policy
that all concerned parties can comprehend. However, first the job description,
expectations, goals, and objectives should be identified. Afterwards, the identification
and communication of those findings, monitoring metrics should be identified.
Once the metrics have been identified, supervisors should begin to monitor and
give feedback on performance. Lastly, the manager must prepare the evaluation
and arrange a meeting with the employee to discuss and share their findings.
Ultimately, a performance system can provide an organization with a foundation
to effectively initiate and manage long-term change.